Let’s talk about logistics. Let’s talk about the death of the high street, Brexodus, Black Friday, healthcare-on-demand… The Logistics Podcast, brought to you by SHD Logistics magazine and presented by editor Kirsty Adams, discusses key challenges and opportunities faced by warehouse managers, heads of operations and logistics directors in sectors including manufacturing, retail, FMCG and 3rd Party Logistics (3PL).

Latest episode: Episode 3 - Will machines takeover? People & Automation

Dark human-free warehouses? This isn’t the picture being painted by this month’s podcast guests as we discuss machines, humans and job titles of the future. This episode explores how human roles are changing, collaboration and embracing automation.

Guest Alex Harvey, head of robotics and autonomous systems at Ocado, says automation frees up humans to do jobs that use their cognitive abilities. Erik Fjellborg, CEO of workforce software company Quinyx, shares some insight on the types of roles emerging in logistics operations, including innovation managers. Other guests include Bethany Fovargue, operations manager at Novus and Jon Sleaman, lead director EMEA Logistics & Industrial Research at JLL.

We also tackle Brexit and food distribution in feature: EU to plate. We interview Shane Brennan, in-coming chief executive of The Food Storage and Distribution Federation (FSDF) and Chris Sturman, out-going chief executive at the organisation. Other guests include transport consultant Kirsten Tisdale.

Property Special: Inside Magna Park with John Lewis

John Lewis’ base in Magna Park, Milton Keynes is a gigantic 2.1m sq ft space which initially opened in June 2009. Its operations are spread across two warehouse facilities, Magna Park 1 and Magna Park 2, working harmoniously to fulfil online customer orders and in-store stock. Ever wondered what goes on inside these vast facilities? SHD Logistics assistant editor David Tran went along to visit one of the UK’s best loved retailers to find out.

David summarises some of the key features in these warehouses, including advanced automation from KNAPP, who were appointed by the retailer to design and deliver the site’s intralogistics solution. Retail operators like John Lewis benefit from their situation in Milton Keynes, where there is a capacity to build large warehouses while remaining in close proximity to the UK’s most important motorway networks.

Warehouse property developer Gazeley has a widespread property development project across Milton Keynes, which includes its latest speculative building close to Magna Park. The 574,000sq ft site is the tallest and largest speculative development in the UK and possesses some enhanced features to ensure it meets the demand of a wide number of potential tenants. We find out more about these special features in a tour of the site with Development Director Joe Garwood. 


Episode 2

“If the high street is dying then why is it that Amazon and Missguided…and others are opening high street shops?” That’s Professor Neil Ashworth. 

He leads the debate in episode 2 around the life and death and life of the high street. We also talk about the collapse of ToysRus with former director of distribution Chris Howes. SHD hits its local high street and interviews shoppers Chelsea and Amanda who add their shopping habits into the mix. Stuart Higgins, Director – Retail at BearingPoint, explains why consumers like Chelsea and Amanda have all the power and what this means for retail logistics.

The skills challenge is a major concern for logistics operators. In episode 2 we discuss how the Business on the Move Board game is taking logistics into the classroom with classroom teacher Lorna Clifford and Claire Piotrowski, Future Talent Manager at Kuehne + Nagel.


Episode 1

You can’t run. You can’t hide. Black Friday is back. It returns on 30 November 2018 and planning should have already started. This episode we speak to experts/survivors of Black Friday including:

John Munnelly, Head of Operations – Magna Park, John Lewis: “We’re very much at the beck and call of how the other retailers actually trade.”

Duncan Licence VP, Global Solutions and New Products at Metapack Group: “Black Friday has changed not just Christmas but the whole of the peak trading period.”

Lynne Parnell, Logistics Partners: “Automation can help because you can increase your productivity through peak,”

Peter Ward, CEO, UKWA: “The big challenge is labour and skills to handle that.”

We’ll also be talking to Kevin Mofid from Savills about the 2.1 million sq feet of underground warehouse space at Heathrow.


The Logistics Podcast is published on the first Wednesday of the month and coincides with monthly title SHD Logistics magazine. It includes interviews with experts from leading retailers, pioneering 3PLs, the associations that represent them and supply chain academics. Together, we tell a story each episode of a profession which is becoming more visible and more critical every day. It’s a riveting tale. 

SHD Logistics magazine is the authoritative source for decision makers in the logistics market, keeping readers up-to-date on key developments in the profession. Published alongside the Logistics Podcast and events including The Logistics Conference and the UK’s largest intralogistics event IMHX, our magazine is at the heart of the conversation – of our logistics community – and has been for 60 years.